In the Office Back Care

by M. M. on April 2, 2012

This the fifth post in a series for keeping healthy even while desk bound.

Here’s 4, here’s 3,  here’s 2,  here’s 1 

Science is beginning to recognize the wallflower at the health care dance– a really old lady called yoga.

More physicians are paying heed to yoga’s role in healing and uplifting body and mind.

Loren Fishman, M.D. , recently featured in the book, “The Science of Yoga” for his therapeutic application of yoga with his patients, found that a series of common yoga poses worked to reduce back pain in his patients by up to 40% over several weeks of practice.

If the transition hasn’t happened already, it will soon.  Having some minor back pain? Your doctor may simply suggest you see your yoga teacher for a prescription of  poses to find relief.  It may save you lots of extra stress and money in the long run.

Stay back pain free by doing some spinal strengtheners throughout the day.  Get out of  your chair at least every hour and try some of these movements:

  • stand behind your chair or find some wall space.  Press your hands into the wall or the back of the chair and walk back far enough to feel  length from the tailbone to the fingertips. Take  deep breaths, holding the position for about 15 seconds to relax and open tight muscles.
  • stand tall and clasp the right wrist and gently pull the right arm over your head for a crescent stretch.  Repeat on the other side, lifting yourself strongly out of the hip to lean over.
  • sit in your chair  with hips perched at the edge of chair with  feet directly under your knees.   Begin lengthening the sides of your waist and press into your sternum to “lift your heart” and slowly walk your hands back to grasp the outer edges of your chair, creating an easy upper body curve.    Take 5 deep breaths.
  • finish with a fold over: let yourself roll over your legs letting the head and neck relax, hands on your shins or on the floor.

We’re designed to enjoy and move our bodies.  Remind yourself to get up and stretch using a timer on the computer or on your phone..

You will notice a difference!

Best to you

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Vonne April 3, 2012 at 2:19 am

When I first started doing yoga, I was incredibly stressed out. My back muscles weren’t strong, and I could only sit certain ways. When I did some similar moves to these in yoga classes, at the last “fold over” where we’d lay our hands on the floor and bend our knees, I felt a low level of pain in my lower back. After about 2 months of yoga 2x a week- ta da! And I no longer feel that in yoga class, and I know my back is much stronger.

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Megan McGeary April 3, 2012 at 2:35 am

Cindi Lee of OM Yoga in NYC frequently says that our arms and legs are like the “organs” of the spine–they help stretch and strengthen it. Glad you are doing better. Thanks for your comment, Vonne!

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